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Airline fuel efficiency improves but lags industry goals: study

Reuters  |  MONTREAL 

By Allison Lampert

(Reuters) - Airline fuel efficiency on transatlantic flights has improved by one percent a year since 2014 as carriers buy modern planes, but the industry still lags its own climate goals, a study released on Wednesday said.

The industry's average fuel efficiency improved to 34 passenger kilometers per liter of fuel from 33 between 2014 and 2017 as carriers opted for modern aircraft with lower fuel burn and operated fuller planes, the study from the U.S.-based (ICCT) said.

Airlines have been switching to more fuel-efficient aircraft in an attempt to mitigate the impact of on their margins.

The aviation industry has also set a non-binding goal of capping emissions from international flights at 2020 levels, despite rising passenger traffic as global climbs.

In 2010, the Montreal-based (ICCT) set a goal of 2 percent annual fuel efficiency improvement through 2050 for all international flights.

group (IATA) expects an average improvement in fuel efficiency of 1.5 percent per year on all international flights from 2009 to 2020.

While the study only looked at transatlantic flights, the ICCT said airlines will have to become more efficient to meet industry goals.

"New policies to accelerate investments in more fuel-efficient aircraft and operations are critical if industry is to meet its long-term climate goals," said Dan Rutherford, for the U.S.-based independent non-profit research organization.

The study compared the fuel efficiency of nonstop passenger flights between and by 20 major airlines, following a similar study conducted in 2014.

Starting Jan. 1, 2019, most airlines flying international routes will begin monitoring their fuel and carbon emissions as part of a landmark agreement brokered two years ago by ICAO.

According to industry figures, air transport accounts for 2 percent of global man-made carbon emissions.

Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA, which operates new 787 and 737 MAX aircraft, was ranked first of the 20 transatlantic carriers for fuel efficiency, while British Airways, part of the [ICAG.L], came in last.

Of the U.S. carriers, had the most fuel efficient fleet, meeting the industry average, while was ranked third from the bottom.

(Reporting By Allison Lampert; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, September 12 2018. 09:37 IST